What is First Interaction Attribution?

Samuel Monse

Samuel Monse

13.11.2022
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First Interaction Attribution is the attribution of a cause to the first event in a series of events.

Definition

In marketing, first interaction attribution is the practice of crediting the very first touchpoint in the customer journey with converting a lead into a customer.

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This may seem unfair at first glance – after all, wouldn’t the last touchpoint be more important in the customer’s decision-making process?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, the last touchpoint is indeed important – but only insofar as it was the final push that led to the sale. However, without that very first interaction, the customer likely never would have considered your product or service in the first place.

Think of it this way: if you meet someone at a party and they give you their business card, you’re not going to buy anything from them right then and there. In fact, you may not even remember their name by the end of the night. But if they make a good impression on you and you happen to look at their card later, you might give them a call or visit their website.

The business card was the first interaction – and while it didn’t result in a sale immediately, it was still an important part of the customer journey.

The same is true for online touchpoints. That very first Google Ads ad that a potential customer clicks on may not result in a sale – but it’s still an important part of getting them interested in your product or service.

    Benefits
  • It encourages businesses to focus on the entire customer journey, not just the final touchpoints.
  • It helps businesses track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns at every stage.
  • It allows businesses to allocate resources more effectively across the customer journey.
  • It provides valuable insights into which marketing channels are most effective at each stage of the customer journey.
  • It can help businesses identify opportunities to improve the customer experience.
  • It can help businesses better understand how customers make purchase decisions.
    Drawbacks
  • It can lead to businesses focusing too much on the very first touchpoint, to the detriment of other important touchpoints further down the line.
  • It can give too much credit to one marketing channel (e.g., paid search) at the expense of others (e.g., organic search).
  • It can be difficult to implement effectively without the right tools and data.
  • It requires a certain amount of interpretation and analysis to be truly useful.

First Interaction Attribution in Practice

There are a few different ways that businesses can implement first interaction attribution in their marketing efforts, including:

  • Using Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free tool that allows businesses to track website traffic and conversion data. businesses can use Google Analytics to attribute conversions to the first touchpoint by setting up a custom channel groupings.
  • Using marketing automation software: Marketing automation software allows businesses to automate and track their marketing efforts, including email marketing, social media campaigns, and lead nurturing. Most marketing automation platforms have built-in attribution features that businesses can use to attribute conversions to the first touchpoint.
  • Working with a digital marketing agency: Digital marketing agencies typically have experience working with first interaction attribution and can help businesses set up the necessary tracking and reporting infrastructure.

Implementing first interaction attribution can be a challenge for businesses, but the benefits – including improved campaign performance and better allocation of resources – make it worth the effort.

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